Across our cities roads are being closed while new cycle lanes and wider pavements pop up, promising to reset our relationship with cars. By contrast ministers have just started encouraging the public to “drive as much as you want to” to visit the countryside.
So it was no big surprise this Monday, when we finally heard back from the Department for Transport (DfT), it refused to back down. In its response, it claims decarbonisation will be addressed “at a society-wide level” and its largest ever roads plan in fact “is a fully-integrated part of this wider effort to reach net zero emissions”.
Lowering emissions with one hand by supporting active travel and increasing them by building thousands of miles of roads with the other. How could anyone describe that as joined up? Fortunately our lawyers have advised us we have an arguable case, meaning we plan to see (or should that be Zoom) the DfT in court. But we now need to do more research than originally planned to prepare our case, and well before the end of the month. To be confident we can file and progress a strong claim later this month, we need to raise another £7,000 in the next week.
Anything you can do to share or support this effort is much appreciated. Please share our CrowdJustice page as much as you can, also the new video on our website, which explains why this case is important for so many.
After weeks of quieter roads benefiting nature and families venturing out together, this weekend will see traffic returning to our countryside. Worse still the Government’s roads programme includes half a billion pounds to plan massive new roads across our most cherished landscapes, including across the Pennines, South Downs (pictured above), Cotswolds and Wiltshire Downs. Of course some trips can only be made by car but now’s the time surely to be investing in alternatives, whether in town or country.
When we started our legal challenge we never imagined how many messages of support we’d receive or how timely it would feel to all of you who’ve been so generous. Many thanks once again for your support.
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